An anime movie set within the Sakura Wars video game series released in Japan on December 22nd, 2001. It is set in between the third and fourth games.The movie introduces Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love character Ratchet Altair, dispatched to the Imperial Capital Tokyo from New York to work for the Imperial Assault Force's Flower division while division captain Ichirō Ōgami is in Paris, so that she would go on to found The New York Fighting Troupe, which would later be seen in Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love. But darkness comes as the American company, Douglas-Stewart, under the leadership of Brent Furlong, unveils a plan to make the division obsolete by using Japhkiels, which are supposed to be unmanned mechs but are in truth, demons. Soon, the Flower Division and Ratchet are drawn into the heart of Douglas-Stewart's plans.Like the episodes of the TV series, the film is also a self-contained story in the same continuity (no Alternate Continuity here, thankfully) and leaves no hanging plot threads behind; such as Ratchet being introduced here, and eventually goes on to appear in Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love. The movie does assume you have familiarity with the characters and game timeline (providing no explanation as to why Ohgami isn't even present for almost the entire movie, expect being mentioned about being in Paris, where Sakura Wars 3 takes place). The movie also substantially expands the world of Sakura Wars beyond Japan, exploring in greater depth the dynamics of the prototype team (which consisted of Ratchet, Orihime, and Leni) fielded in wartime Europe. The movie takes place just after the end of the third game (Paris) and before the beginning of the fourth (which ended the "Tokyo arc"). A recent production, it makes extensive use of CGI effects, particularly for the kohbu.Originally licensed by Geneon, the film is now licensed by FUNimation, and was released on Blu-Ray on October 22, 2013.
Sakura Wars: The Movie provides examples of:
- All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The IJA take over the Imperial Theater on Tanuma's orders.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Kaede demonstrates this trope when she takes out an IJA officer at the Imperial Assault Force's Goraigo control room by using a karate chop on his shoulder near his neck after he begins to threaten Kanna with a pistol, ordering her to stand down.
- Big Damn Heroes: In the film's second half, Yokihiko helps the Flower division return to the Imperial Theater and take it back by force. And at the end, Kikunojo helps destroy the Japhkiel facilities. Then, of course, Ōgami shows up just in time to help the Flower division kill Brent.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Orihime gets ambushed and brainwashed by Patrick Hamilton in the second half of the film.
- Christmas in Japan: The film takes place during the holiday season in Japan (Christmas to New Years).
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Brent markets the demons as Japhkiels.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- After taking back the Imperial Theater, the Flower division takes out the demons with ease.
- Brent himself defeats almost all of the Flower division members, and even destroys Ratchet's Eisenkleid.
- Darkest Hour: Occurs twice in the movie:
Sumire: What can we do, I ask you? Shoghei-Maru (the airship) has been sealed, Wind Division and the deputy commander [Kaede] are being held at the Imperial Theater. What can we do in such a predicament?
- In the second half of the film, Commander Yoneda is missing, Orihime has been ambushed and brainwashed by Patrick Hamilton, Maria is missing after attempting to investigate Douglas-Stewart, Kaede Fujieda and the Wind Division are placed under house arrest at the Great Imperial Theater, and the Imperial Flower Combat division has been placed on indefinite standby and isn't allowed back at the Great Imperial Theater. It's even lampshaded by Sumire:
- Defiant to the End:
Kanna: Of course! We'll obey any order as long as it's designed to safeguard Tokyo. You tell me how cozying up to Douglas-Stewart is going to help. You think that's gonna make this city any safer?!
- When Kanna is ordered to stand down.
- When Brent confronts Sakura in the Final Battle, she denounces Brent's actions and says that the Imperial Assault Force will not be defeated.
- Dub Name Change: Ratchet is called "Lachette" in the English dub.
- Establishing Character Music: When Ratchet enters the theater, her leitmotif from Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love makes its first appearance.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Brent has a deep voice and is a villain.
- Gratuitous English: In the original Japanese version, some of the dialogue is peppered with English (especially from Ratchet, Patrick and Brent). Averted in the English dub, of course.
- Hoist By Her Own Petard: After Leni's Eisenkleid is destroyed, Orihime tries to fire energy blasts at the Flower Division, but it ends up destroying her Eisenkleid, breaking free of Patrick's control.
- Immune to Bullets: Patrick Hamilton, as Maria Tachibana found out the hard way. But he's not immune to bullets with spirit power as he learned the hard way!
- Non-Dubbed Grunts: Brent's chant to transform the Japhkiels in the finale is kept in its original language in the English dub.
- One-Winged Angel: Brent merges with the remaining Japhkiels towards the end of the film. Three guesses what happens next.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: In the second half of the film, after Maria is missing while investigating Douglas-Stewart, Sakura and whoever's left in the Imperial Flower Division decide "let's go back to the theater, take it back and get back our Kobus and defend Tokyo", even though they were placed on indefinite standby.Sakura: Hey, I know why not?Everybody Else: Huh?Sakura: Do what we can while we can. I don't want to live with regrets in my heart. Come on! Let's do this together.Iris: Let's do it!Leni: Let's do it!Kanna: Let's go for it!Kohran: I'm with you!Sumire: I suppose that we must.
- Two-Man Bad Band:
- Taking the Bullet: At the end of the film, Ratchet attempts to kill Orihime, but Leni gets in the way and her Eisenkleid gets destroyed.
- Voice of the Legion: Brent talks like this after merging with the remaining Japhkiels in the finale.